The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of events and emotions. I’m fortunate that I have a few angels who put there wings over me and help me to forget the vultures and crows who just circle without landing. Asking others “how is she doing” Another cancer, another opportunity to thin the herd, another reason to buy Cheetos.
Neuropathy is still hot and heavy despite the very best efforts of Doctor M, I can no longer lift dishes or glasses without fear of letting go of them accidentally. I drink my hundreds of cups of tea a day with both hands. Next step: Sippy Cup!!! The exact description of neuropathy : Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is damage to or disease affecting nerves, which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function, or other aspects of health, depending on the type of nerve affected. Patients with peripheral neuropathy may have tingling, numbness, unusual sensations, weakness, or burning pain in the affected area. Oftentimes, the symptoms are symmetrical and involve both hands and feet. All of this is caused by chemotherapy. Not everyone is affected. Not everyone complains as much as I do…Just my DNA I suppose. There are too many side effects from being treated for cancer to list here. Many are devastating to patient and caregiver and they run from simple nausea and hair loss to the inability to eat or life threatening cardiac issues . My worst side effect is “chemo brain”. I may appear to be solving errors made by Einstein, but in fact Im looking in the refrigerator for my car keys..(true story)…I’m sure I have already said this, but I can’t remember. My husband calls it “Dory” syndrome….
According to my weekly blood work, MRI”s, PET and CT scans, chemo is working beautifully thanks to Doctor N. The man knows his cancers and isn’t afraid to jump in feet first. No sugar coating which is jarring at first, but you learn to appreciate the honesty this dedicated man affords you. Yes, we can try to manage it, no, we can’t cure it…I would say that’s pretty honest.
Grand jeté is a classical ballet term meaning “big throw.” It describes a big jump where the dancer throws one leg into the air, pushes off the floor with the other, jumping into the air and landing again on the first leg. Starting any type of chemotherapy is akin to being thrown into the air and hoping and praying you land gracefully. As I mentioned in previous posts, my people historically do not jump. We were meant to be close to the ground so as not to miss a beet or errant potatoe. This position also helped to avoid wind gusts so prevalent in Siberia….
painting by: Siobhán McGuire